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I’d Rather Be With My Pencil Crayons (Thinking Out Loud)

How am I?

…. I’m really not sure to be honest with you.

I’m good…

But not in a hyper, energized, talkative and bouncy kind of way.

I don’t even know if I can say I’m “happy.”


Am I happy with my life, as it stands at this moment? No…. I’m not really. I don’t have an acting job. My dreams are not becoming a reality. 

But this week, I’ve had this calmness about me. This sense of peace and clarity, that not even coffee has been able to break through. 

pencil crayons

I’ve felt present, and open to what is both around and inside me. 

In the smallest moments… I’ve felt okay

My energy has not been yearning for stimulation or hype, excitement or highs.

Rather, all I want to do is…

Take pictures of things that make me happy.

Like china town markets

pencil crayons

And Kensington streets

pencil crayons

Adirondack chairs

pencil crayons

And me walking in my bright red pants and clicky boots

pencil crayons

I’ve just wanted to sit at sunny windows and color, without any idea what I’ll actually do

pencil crayons

Or ride the new streetcars in the evenings. 

I don’t know why but I find these just the most peaceful things (don’t worry – I’m actually going somewhere.  But I will wait for the new ones if I’m not in a rush…..which is never these days it seems…)

pencil crayons

There’s been this new sense of patience.

I’m giving in much better to all the “I don’t knows” …shaking my head whenever a splinter of doubt or anxiety begins to arise, as if to immediately shoo it away. 

It’s not comfortable –  relinquishing that desire to have things figured out right away. I have a zillion ambitions and things I want to do. But I can feel that muscle of patience being worked…and strengthened. There’s this new inner dialogue of “it will happen,” or “it’s in the works,”and a trust that this… may actually be true? 

When your life is in a bit of shambles, it feels counter intuitive to be letting these fatalistic thoughts lead. 

But when I think of listening to that, I just think…

I’d rather be coloring. 

pencil crayons

I’m preferring to bring my pencil crayons around with me.  They are what I throw in my backpack, where my laptop once would be. 

They’ve been giving me a lot of peace this week. I love coloring and being immersed in a world of simplicity. This other world that lies outside the realm of technology. Where clarity and calm can actually exist. 

pencil crayons

In this world I feel happy in the small moments. I’m in a world that exists outside of life’s stressors or the pressures I put on myself. I don’t have to think about them. I feel at peace as I just sit in the park, maybe not even doing anything but sitting there feeling the sun on my shoulders. 

I feel happy simply at the notion of trying a new coffee shop

pencil crayons

And smiling at the man sketching in his notebook beside me 

I really like my backpack, and how I’ve been looking in my non-school real clothes

And I feel okay, just lying down in the sun when I still have 20 minutes to kill and don’t want to do anything else

pencil crayons

I’m not really “happy,” and maybe I don’t really want to be. 

Maybe something in me doesn’t want to say I’m happy because it says I shouldn’t be… since I’m not getting those big accomplishments I should be getting. 

Can I be happy without these things? Am I allowed? Do I feel like a failure if I say I’m happy before I’ve gotten them?

I don’t know. Right now I just want the stillness. I just want these moments of calm to notice the little things and soak in the sun. I don’t know what feelings these moments are bringing, but in these moments, I feel as though I can wait. Like maybe I can actually wait for things to unfold. 

All I know is, while I wait, I’d rather be with my pencil crayons.

pencil crayons

I'd rather be with my pencil crayons. Finding peace in the stillness. #calm #stillness #serenity #art Click To Tweet

Thanks for letting me Think Out Loud this week

Tell me,

Do you like to color?





  1. Kristy from Southern In Law | 11th May 17

    Hooray for peace and happiness and pure unadulterated joy! I do love to colour – in fact, that was probably one of my favourite things when I nannied as I knew I’d always get some colouring in time in 😛
    Kristy from Southern In Law recently posted…Recipe: Easy No Bake Cookie Dough Protein BitesMy Profile

    • Cora | 16th May 17

      Yay for kids reminding us of the simple joys!

  2. chasetheredgrape | 11th May 17

    It’s amazing how a trust in yourself that things will be ok leads to such a contentment. That contentment, although not necessarily happiness or excitement, can lead to an amazing stillness in life. And sometimes that stillness is exactly what we need.
    I love picking out the colours in everything and naming them. Like when I am walking home and I just look around to see how many colours there are. It’s calming and fun and such an easy thing to do. Colour makes me happy 🙂

    • Cora | 16th May 17

      “…although not necessarily happiness or excitement, can lead to an amazing stillness in life.” That’s interesting isn’t it? Maybe at some points in our lives this is just as okay as “happiness??”
      I love this mind game you have. This would be a really good way for me to distract my thoughts and get me out of my head, especially when walking outside. Usually my mind goes to numbers… which then goes to calories… and planning… which I really hate. Ugh :(. This would be so much more therapeutic. Do you make up color names? Haha.

  3. Susie @ Suzlyfe | 11th May 17

    Yay for calmness and stillness and PEACE. however you can find it.

  4. Heather @ Polyglot Jot | 11th May 17

    I love to color too! I have one of those under the sea adult coloring books and its so therapeutic. I hope to whip it out during my recovery when I just need a little time to myself.
    I think your whole mindset is great for this phase of life. I think giving yourself permission to be okay with your current situation is so important. And, I’ve found for myself at least that it’s okay to be happy in the small stuff 🙂
    Heather @ Polyglot Jot recently posted…TOL: 10 Random FactsMy Profile

    • Cora | 16th May 17

      Letting yourself be okay in your current situation is such hard work. Thank you for reminding me that it is okay to be happy in the small stuff. I need that continual reminder.
      I love that you find the adult coloring books therapeutic. I hope you can use them during your recovery phase! And then soon you will be able to color WITH your little girl!!!

  5. Jamie@TheMomGene | 11th May 17

    I color with the kids all the time!!! It’s usually Elmo. My favorite is sidewalk chalk though. We have neon chalk. 🙂 I think it sounds like you have momentary contentment. That’s a lovely place to be even if you haven’t met all your goals.

    • Cora | 16th May 17

      Sigh. I would love to color with my kids one day.
      SIDEWALK CHALK. YES! Neon? Oh my lord. Coolest mom ever.

  6. Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy | 11th May 17

    Coloring is so cathartic, isn’t it? And this post is SO colorful – those sunny streets, that China market…I love the pops of color. The in between calmness and peace, however we get there, is beautiful.
    Sarah @ Bucket List Tummy recently posted…Mediterranean Hummus Pasta SaladMy Profile

    • Cora | 16th May 17

      Coloring really is cathartic. Especially when you have no plan as to what you are going to even draw. I’m finding taking these pictures – and posting them – to be really good for me. These little things make me happy.

  7. Evangeline | 11th May 17

    That neutral emotion really needs a name. The not happy but not sad or anxious, just a chill, going with what life has to offer kind of feeling. Coloring in the sunshine, slowing down, and practicing patience can actually be crazy hard to do so I commend you much for the stillness you’re seeking so actively. And I’ve probably said this before, but Cora, your writing is just amazing, so intricate but accessible and beautiful. It’s a joy to read.
    Evangeline recently posted…Life LatelyMy Profile

    • Cora | 16th May 17

      I’m constantly amazed how you always know the exact feeling I’m trying to portray, Evangeline. The not happy, not sad, not anxious….. what is that!?!
      You have a lot of newness coming up. I’m wondering how you are doing? I feel like I was maybe where you are currently a month or two ago….. I was feeling crazy and anxious and emotional, knowing that changes were coming. Sending you any thoughts of calmness and trust that I can <3

  8. Kate | 11th May 17

    “I’ve felt present, and open to what is both around and inside me.” Ah this is something I commonly feel during transitions or when I am itching for change. I think this is an okay to feeling to replace happiness for a short period to time. However, I think you can be happy at the present and still trust the longing for your goals to remain. I’m working on that myself!
    Kate recently posted…The smoothie that worksMy Profile

    • Cora | 16th May 17

      I know you totally can be… and I think we should all be happy in the present even if our goals are not currently being reached…. but its really hard, isn’t it. I think that’s my current work that needs to be done. A little more self love, self trust, and less self pressure. Things usually happen when we are open and patient anyways….. tricky life.

  9. Casey the College Celiac | 11th May 17

    I’ve never been a huge coloring person…but I’m SO happy to hear that you’ve been finding some happy moments.
    Casey the College Celiac recently posted…What It’s Like to Be Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia at 11 Years OldMy Profile

    • Cora | 16th May 17

      Thank you Casey <3. What little activities bring you peace?

  10. danielle | 12th May 17

    yesssss…. everything you said. i’ve felt this impulse to buy new coloring sticks every time i’ve felt in a transitional period, or lost, or lookig for something ‘else’. that’s just been me, coloring sticks were my stepping stones to the next island 🙂
    color fierce my friend, and please color some of those pants for me. i’d love a pair to appear in my closet! happy red pants, happy life.

    • Cora | 16th May 17

      Ahh that is so cool. It brings me a lot of comfort to know that this is where you go when looking for something “else,” too. This is all a new discovery for me. I’ve just discovered that maybe coloring is my stepping stone as well…..

  11. Lyss | 12th May 17

    we are so much alike I feel like… I feel the most content with my coloring book, a cup of coffee, or a book. And I love trying new cafes. My soul feels at ease then. Sometimes it’s hard for me to be comfortable with stillness, but I am learning to embrace it and the uneasiness it may bring.
    Lyss recently posted…Another Year DoneMy Profile

    • Cora | 16th May 17

      Right!?! I’m sitting in a brand new one right now and I’m feeling so so so internally happy and content. We would get a long so well, Lyss.
      I’m currently starting to make an effort to push myself into more discomfort and uneasiness and then journal a single sentence to say how I’m feeling. This was just suggested to me by a dietician. We’ll see how it goes. Discomfort is really not easy.

  12. Emily Swanson | 13th May 17

    I love this reminder; I was just thinking about this yesterday. I love simplicity too; I can’t really handle a life that is always bustling. I love time to think, to pray, to just think about God’s goodness and His love. It really refills my cup so I can continue to work hard on what i need to work on; and I LOVE coloring. I’ve also been getting into Bible journalling which has helped me just slow down and chew on verses more. I really resonate with these blog posts Cora, cause I relate to that hunger and desire for simplicity and rejoicing in simple things.
    Emily Swanson recently posted…Dealing With Amenorrhea and StressMy Profile

    • Cora | 16th May 17

      I’m glad you resonate with these posts Emily. We are soul sisters. Sometimes I crave that bustle and business, but I don’t think that’s when I’m truly “me??” I think maybe that is only when I’m trying to distract myself away from something. I feel most me when I’m doing these things…. even if that often brings some sadness with it.

  13. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 13th May 17

    Well said and whether you are or not, I’m happy for you. Blows kiss.
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Week in Review: A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That (#82)My Profile

  14. Week In Review: Liminal Space and Small Accomplishments | 15th May 17

    […] you saw this post, you know that I’m in a bit of a different energy space.  I so badly want to […]

  15. Kaylee | 19th May 17

    First, kinda random thing: it’s interesting to me that you call them pencil crayons when my whole life I’ve called them colored pencils. ?

    On a more serious and related note, maybe that calmness is a sense of happiness..? To be at peace at where you’re at. I often struggle with this NEED to be happy, pressure to feel a certain way. And in this desperate search I’ve discovered that sometimes if I slow down enough, I can recognize that maybe I’ve been happy all along.
    Also, your life is looking extremely colorful from this post: red pants, bright blue skies, the boxes of fruits and veggies, coloring pages!
    Kaylee recently posted…Week in Review: The One Where I GraduatedMy Profile

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